In the late 1800s, the town of Forester was a booming lumber town. Located on Lake Huron, ships would tie up at the docks that stretched out into the lake and load their holds full of timber. The town had three hotels and one of them was built by George Tanner in 1871. The significance of the year 1871 is that is the year of the Great Fire. I am wondering if he built it knowing many people were homeless. Known as the Tanner House, it still stands today on the corner of M-25 and Forester Road. After the timber was cut down the town slowly declined. The sawmills and most of the residents moved away. In the 1930’s it has been said that the old hotel was used as a “blind pig” during prohibition. I imagine there were some crazy nights at the old hotel with illegal booze flowing, and I can only wonder what was going on upstairs.
Shortly after the hotel was built it’s residents bore witness to one of the Thumb’s most tragic and legendary events. In the spring of 1876, a young Mini Quay was distraught after learning of her lover’s ship sinking in the great lakes. She walked past the Tanner House waived to the people outside then walked to the end of the dock and jumped into the icy waters and drowned. ( you can read more of her story in my Lost In Michigan book Vol 2)
It’s privately owned today, and the owners have done a nice job of renovating it. Next time you are traveling down M-25 and you see a big old house in Forester now you will know a little bit of its history.
Lost In Michigan books are ON SALE this weekend on Amazon HERE
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